REGI Report of the Delegation to Romania (03 – 05 NOVEMBER 2010)
The trip to Giurgiu, Arad and Timisoara, Romania gave Members the opportunity to exchange ideas with representatives of national, regional and local authorities and other stakeholders and to have a better insight into efficiency and effects of Structural Funds in Romania. The diversity of the projects visited shed some light on the particular challenges faced by the visited areas and allowed for a better understanding of the way Cohesion Policy has been implemented in Romania.
The regional reform and the increase of the administrative capacity have emerged to be elements that are absolutely imperative for the improvement of the absorption rate of EU funds, and it was made clear by the visit that these reforms cannot in any way be further postponed and that it is crucial that they be in place and implemented for the next Cohesion Policy programming period. To tackle the challenge of low absorption rate, Members recommended the drawing up of an Action Plan, in particular on public procurement related issues and this should be done n close cooperation with the European Commission.
Local and regional actors had the possibility to address Members of the European Parliament with their concerns about the present framework and the possible future scenarios of Cohesion Policy, as well as to share their experience, and give direct feedback about implementation. They all agreed on the positive impact this policy has had on the development of their cities and region, but emphasized that for the increase of the absorption rate and for a more effective use of the Cohesion Policy resources it is of utmost importance not only to ensure the stability of the institutional framework, but also that the work of those people who deal with EU funds is more valued and economically incentivised.
In general, the objectives set by the delegation may be considered to have been achieved.
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